The Great Judgment Day, Pt. 2

Scripture: Zechariah 14:1-9, Romans 14:11, Revelation 20:11-12
Date: 02/25/2017 
What happens when Jesus comes again? What is the truth about Hell? Part 2 of 2

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This presentation is brought to you by the friends of the Amazing Facts ministry. During World War II, a 29-year-old engineer named Tsutomu Yamaguchi was on a trip to Hiroshima, Japan on the very day when the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb. As he stepped off a street car, the atomic bomb detonated less than two miles away. Although the blast killed 80,000 people, Yamaguchi got away with only ruptured eardrums and skin that was sunburned. After a painful night in a bomb shelter, he returned home to Nagasaki, 200 miles away. He reported for work three days later and was telling his boss about his ordeal when the second atomic blast hit Nagasaki, killing an additional 70,000 people. Yamaguchi became the only official survivor of both blasts. Amazingly, in spite of double radiation exposure, he had good health most of his life and lived to age 93.

You know, the Bible tells us about two ancient cities that were wiped out by fire from heaven, leaving only three survivors. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah sadly turned away from the source of life and were completely destroyed. Join me today as we uncover the Bible truth about the ultimate judgment day.

In our presentation this evening, we're going to be talking about the great judgment day. The Bible says we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Now, we're going to be looking at several chapters in the Bible, principally chapter 20 of Revelation that talks about this great judgment day and also talks about the millennium. So, what's going on during that time? You can read in John chapter 14, He said, 'I will come again, receive you unto Myself, that where I am there you may be also.' So we'll be with Him in the mansions that he's prepared in the New Jerusalem. And then it goes on in Revelation 20, "And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." So judgment is given unto the saints and we live and reign with Christ a thousand years.

Number 6: What will happen at the close of the 1,000 years? You read in Zechariah 14:1, "Behold the day of the Lord cometh...and His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives." At the end of the one thousand years Jesus is going to say, 'The time has come. I've answered your questions. Now we're going to go down and return to My original plan for this planet.' And His feet are going to come down, He will touch the Mount of Olives, "which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof." It's going to split in two and form a great valley.

Jesus did a lot of teaching from the Mount of Olives. He prayed on the Mount of Olives, 'Father, not My will, Thy will be done.' Mount of Olives isn't far from Bethany where He ascended to heaven. And so, this was a special place He spent with the apostles. He foretold the end of the world on the Mount of Olives looking at the temple. And, after His feet touch the mountain, this great valley forms. There's going to be a massive earthquake. He's preparing the foundation - it then tells us that the New Jerusalem comes down. John chapter 21, verse 2 - he says, "And I john saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Because the bride of Christ, the church, lives in that city - and what a glorious experience that will be.

What will happen next to free Satan from his prison? Well, Satan's imprisoned because he has nobody to tempt or manipulate - all the wicked are dead, right? He's got no one to possess - no one to control. But when Jesus comes back it says, at the end of the one thousand years, the rest of the dead - third time we're reading this - they don't live again until the thousand years are finished. If the dead in Christ rise first, then the rest of the dead are the wicked and they rise in the second resurrection - are you still with me? That means they do live again when the thousand years are finished. And when Jesus comes down, He calls them all from their graves. "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison."

What looses him from his prison? Well now the world is kind of illuminated with the city of God and all the wicked come forth from their graves. The Bible calls them 'Gog and Magog'. All the names in Revelation are symbols. Does Revelation talk about Balaam? Yeah, it does. It's a symbol. Revelation mentions Jezebel - not the real Jezebel, she's dead. It's talking about a spiritual Jezebel. It talks about Apollyon and it talks about all these names - it talks about Egypt, it talks about Sodom - and when it talks about Gog and Magog it's talking about the ancient enemies of God's people because, all the wicked through the ages, they represent the enemies of God's people.

I’m going to drop in a little amazing fact for you here about Napoleon Bonaparte. You know, at one point, Napoleon was sweeping across Europe and it looked like he was going to reunite the ancient Roman empire - he was a brilliant general - but, in the largest battle in Europe, before World War I, Napoleon was finally defeated by this coalition of nations and they exiled him to Elba, this island. And he knew that before too long they were going to send him to a remote island in the middle of the Atlantic - he - very clever - he managed to escape - a bold and daring escape from that island - got back to France, reassembled the French army, and for another hundred and eleven days, he was in power and he rallied the forces one more time - even though he had been imprisoned he couldn't change. Soon as he got back on the mainland he went back to war to become king of the world again.

Satan is released to show all - he used to be - think about this: Satan was #4 - Father, Son, Holy Spirit are God - he was the highest of the creations. He is going to be executed now. He's going to be cast into this lake of fire. Before God does that, He wants to make sure that all - some of those good angels heard Lucifer appealing to them - they choose to stay loyal to God, but maybe they were on the fence. And so, God wants to make sure there's no question. Soon as Lucifer has an audience again he goes right back to his old ways. He cannot change any more than Napoleon, who was probably inspired by the pride of the devil.

What will Satan do when he sees the wicked are raised? - is question number 8 - it says, Revelation 20:8 - "and shall go out to deceive the nations" - that tells you who Gog and Magog are, right? The nations of all the wicked - "which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog." Now, when we are resurrected, we get glorified bodies, right? People often ask, 'What about the wicked when they're resurrected, what do they get?' I think the Lord just sort of patches them together so they know what's going on, but they don't get any special bodies - they don't get the upgrades that we get. They just get a stripped-down rental to get them through the judgment experience. They probably come out of their graves pretty much like they went in. I can't prove that but I don't think they're getting any kind of glorified bodies. It says, "to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea."

You think about all the people that have lived over the thousands of years of human history - all alive at one time on the planet - and he sees all these forces - now, I know it's a sad thought, but it's biblical. Who's got the bigger army? Satan. Christ or Satan? Now think about this: you've got Jesus and all the good angels - the good angels outnumber the bad - and then you've got Satan, all the bad angels, and the wicked. The wicked outnumber the good - broad is the way that leads to destruction. So they cover the earth like a cloud and that means everybody in this room, we're going to see each other again someday - I hope you're in the city - amen. When that happens. And it goes on to say, "And thou shalt come up against My people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land." So they're going to completely cover the land. It's like a cloud.

At this crucial moment, what stops everything? Now Satan is loosed from his prison, what do you think he does when he's loosed? He rallies all the wicked and he says, 'There's more of us than there are of them.' You read in Ezekiel it says they gather together. Read in Zechariah, 'against the city of God to attack the city of God.' and it says they're loosed from their prison for a season. How long is that time? I don't know, but it's long enough for them to organize his armies. And Satan's going to say, 'That's our city.' And even though he's fallen, he still looks like a glorious being. He said, 'That's the enemy. That belongs to me. He's taken it and he's going to rally them all with Him.' Because, what else? It's their last hope. And, in desperation, instead of repenting, they try to attack God's city. But, before they can launch their attack, Jesus says, 'Enough is enough.' Amen. This is the great judgment day.

Now, when I talk about judgment it really all happens in three phases. You've got a judgment that takes place before Jesus comes - those that take the name of Christ, their names are entered into the Book of Life - 'He that has the Son has life' - and we are judged based on the merits of Christ. The Bible knows - the Bible tells us God knows, before He comes, who's saved because, when He comes, He's dispensing rewards, right? He'll give to every man according to his works when He comes. He knows who's saved or lost.

Then there's the judgment during the one thousand years where we participate in asking questions and understanding why God judged as He did. We're affirming the judgments of God. Then the final executive part of the judgment is the white throne judgment that happens now, at the end of the one thousand years when all the wicked are there before the Lord. Christ, on His great white throne, is exalted above the city where everybody sees Him. And the glory of Christ is going to be overwhelming. And, you can read here in - it says, "and I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

This final judgment, is it where everyone lines up in a big line like at the Department of Motor Vehicles and you're all kind of waiting and they say, 'Next case'? And one by one we all come and - I don't think it's like that. At Pentecost, when the Lord filled 3,000 people with the Holy Spirit, was it one at a time or was it all at once? So there's going to be a massive judgment, but each person - and it may take a while - each person will have their life in review in the heavens. They will see a panorama of Christ's sacrifice and all God did to try to save them. And everything is going to be opened - we're going to see people that are going to be outside the city because of our influence. If you're saved, hopefully you'll see people that are inside the city because of your influence. And so, it's not just that you're going to be judged for your deeds, you're going to be judged for what you've done to others. Your example is going to make a difference. It's not just what you do for you, every one of us is influencing others for or against God. Amen? So you want to have a good influence.

So Christ is up there and everybody sees the glory. What happens then when they see the glory of God? You've read that verse in Romans chapter 14, verse 11, "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on the earth, and things under the earth;" - Everybody's going to bow before God, even Lucifer, at some point, is going to then fall down. He's going to have to declare 'God is good. I have been wrong.' He'll be overwhelmed with the sense of his own sin. You know what judas did before he killed himself? He went into the temple and he said, 'I have betrayed innocent blood.' And he went out and hung himself. Satan, from his proud lips will be forced a confession that he was the author of this whole rebellion. Every knee is going to bow. Every - people who are atheists and said 'There is no God' - every knee will bow. I'd just as soon bow to Jesus now - amen. And be ready for when He comes - amen. And not be a rebel as wait until it's too late. "And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Amen? Amen.

And you read in Revelation 19, "I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying...true and righteous are His judgments." Notice what's happening there? Everyone in heaven is saying they are affirming God's judgment. So who is the judge? Ultimately it's God, and everybody will declare God is just. God is good. His judgments are fair.

Don't go anywhere, friends, we'll be back in just a moment with the rest of today's presentation. Have you read what the Bible actually says about the last-day events? Are you familiar with the signs of the second coming, last plagues, and the final judgment? Anyone who's even glancing at the headlines today probably wonders if our world is plunging towards Armageddon, but I want to let you know that even in the face of all that's happening, you can still live with peace and assurance for your future. Would you like to know how?

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What happens next? Then it tells us this is the final phase of what you would call the Battle of Armageddon. The Battle of Armageddon kind of starts before Jesus gets here and it finishes afterwards. The Battle of Armageddon is not China and Russia and Israel and - God is concerned about the battle between good and evil. You know, there's a story in the Old Testament about Gideon. Gideon was surrounded by a three-fold union: the Amalekites, the Edomites, and the people of the east, they all came like - they covered the earth like a cloud. They devoured the land like locusts and God said to Gideon, 'I’m going to go with you and all you need is your 300 men. And there, in the valley of Megiddo, Gideon, through the power of God and His spirit, they have complete victory over these superior forces.

You see, that scenario happens several times in the Bible, except in Revelation it's the beast, the dragon, and the false prophet - another three-fold union - come against the people of God - they're coming against the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but they're defeated. And this is where Jesus, you see Him, sometimes, pictured and conquering on His horse and He then sends judgment on the wicked. It says in Revelation 20, verse 9, fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them. Now what does it say happens to him? Devours them. Whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. There's no third option. Everybody is either - we're in heaven - your name is in the book of life, or you follow the devil and his angels into the lake of fire.

Now, the big question is - people misunderstand the lake of fire. Let's talk, for just a minute, about Hell. You read in Revelation 20, verse 14, it says, "This is the second death." I heard a pastor say, one time, 'If you're only born once, you're going to die twice. If you're born twice, you only die once.' You see, Christians, you might die, but then you resurrect and you don't die the second death. The wicked, if you're only born one time and you're not born again, you're going to die the second death.

Let's talk for just a minute about hell, is that okay? This is a subject that is vastly misunderstood and a lot of people have turned away from God because of the terrible, medieval myths that have been perpetrated that are unbiblical. I used to think God was a sadist - someone's lost - you got some teenager who's past the age of accountability but he doesn't accept Jesus and so he goes to the same lake of fire as Adolf Hitler and he burns for zillions of years. And a million years after broiling and boiling and shrieking in agony, moment after moment, he sticks his head up out of the sulfur and brimstone and says, 'God how long?' and God pushes him under and says, 'You haven't even started yet.' (laughter) That's the picture that a lot of people have of God and that's what's been taught. It's not what the Bible teaches.

Let me quickly tell you what the Bible teaches. Malachi chapter 4, 'Behold the day comes that will burn as an oven and all the proud and all that do wickedly will be stubble.' The day that comes will burn them up. The Bible says the wicked are devoured. The wicked are consumed. You've got two choices: he that has the Son has life; he that does not have the Son does not have life. Whoever believes in Him may not perish but have everlasting life. You're either going to perish or have everlasting life. God told Adam and Eve, He said, 'If you disobey you die; if you believe you live.' But the devil is saying, 'No, no, you've got everlasting life no matter what. You're immortal.' You're either going to burn forever or you're going to go to heaven. The Bible doesn't say that. The Bible says God and God only has immortality. Show me where it says people have immortality in the Bible. I’m being quiet. Doesn't say it. It says when Christ comes then this mortal puts on immortality. But we die.

The idea that God is going to immortalize sin - the Bible says there's no more sin, there's no more pain - if there's no more pain - Revelation says no more pain. How can God say all things are new if you've got sinners immortalized in some torture chamber forever and ever? And so many people have heard that - thinking people say, 'There's no justice in there at all to torment the objects of Your creation through all eternity for the sins of a fraction of a second.' This has been used by the church in the Dark Ages to scare people. God doesn't want you coming because of fire insurance, he wants you to come to Him because you love Him. Amen. This is the second death.

Now, there are some difficult verses. It says, 'eternal fire' - calls it eternal fire because what the fire does is eternal. And it calls it everlasting punishment - the punishment lasts for how long? Forever. Forever. The Bible says the wicked are going to be treated like Sodom and Gomorrah. Were Sodom and Gomorrah burnt? Are they still burning? No. They were consumed. He says, 'Turning them into ashes as an example to the ungodly.' What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah? Burnt up. Different people are going to suffer different lengths of time based on what they deserve.

There is a lake of fire so don't go out of here and say, 'Pastor Doug doesn't believe in hell.' I do believe in hell. My hell is hotter than most hells. My hell is hotter because it burns people up. Others just simmer forever and ever. So I do believe in hell. Bible does say that people are going to be punished according to what they deserve. But the idea that it goes on forever and ever and ever - being tortured - that is not what the Bible teaches. God says He's going to make a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness. All things are going to be made new.

So quickly, let's review the millennium. You've got the first resurrection starts it and the second coming; a thousand years we live and reign with Christ during the - the millennium. Second resurrection the Holy City descends. And so, during the one thousand years, we're living and reigning with Christ and there's a judgment. But read in Isaiah 65:17, "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth." Why does it say 'new heaven'? The word 'heaven' there is an atmosphere around the earth. It's not talking about a new dwelling place. Hebrews had three words for heaven - heaven had three levels, I should say. You've got the air around the planet where the birds fly and the clouds float. You have the part of the cosmos where the stars hang, then you have the dwelling place of God that was called the third heaven. Paul talks about a man caught up to the third heaven. And who knows where the verse is about the seventh heaven? It's not in the Bible. Good, just checking to make sure. (laughter)

So God's making a new heavens and a new earth. Revelation 21, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away." And God said He is going to make all things new. It says, "We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness." And, again, you've got the promise, 'Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.' I’m jumping ahead of myself here.

Question number 13: Where will God and the righteous finally live? When the new Jerusalem comes down, after that great white throne judgment, God will rain fire down upon the wicked outside the city. They're all punished according to what they deserve. The Bible says that that fire rains down on the earth. It's not - hell is not a torture chamber down in the middle of the earth somewhere; the Bible doesn't teach that. It says that God himself will dwell with us. You can read in Revelation 21:3 - what a beautiful promise. "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them." He will be their God and they will be His people. And the Bible says we will see His face. Amen.

And then we are going to have glorified bodies. We are going to be able to eat from the Tree of Life - twelve different kinds of fruit twelve times a year. That's better than Baskin Robbins 31 flavors. And you're going to be able - we'll gather together - no more pain, no more police stations, no more sickness, no more death, no more suffering. And it is real, friends. This pain and misery in our world was never God's plan. He's going to restore things to His original plan. "Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth."

Where do we ultimately live? Not in heaven. The new Jerusalem comes down to earth. God has made a city home for you, but you can go forth from the new Jerusalem. It says you will tread on the wicked for their ashes under the soles of your feet. It won't be ashes, there'll be beautiful carpets of living grass. But you'll plant vineyards and eat the fruit. You will build houses. We'll do exciting things. We'll soar to worlds unknown. Anyone know where that verse is? It’s in 'Rock of Ages,' it's not in the Bible - but it's a great verse. (laughter) We'll go to worlds unknown. We'll be able to fly. It does say, in the Bible, we will mount up with wings like eagles, we'll run and not be weary, we'll walk and not faint.

This is very real. Boy, I tell you, the older I get, the more heaven sounds good to me. (raucous laughter) because I can tell - I want to trade this one in on a newer model, amen? Amen. The Lord is going to give us an upgrade. The question is, will you accept Jesus' offer of eternal life? Amen. And a place in that kingdom.

I heard a story, years ago, about this king in Persia. And he had a law in his kingdom - he had a harem - and the law was that no man was to ever enter the harem other than the sultan - the king. And he had his eunuchs and he had people that took care of the harem, but there was the quarters of the women and the wives, and no man was supposed to go in. The crown prince was a little arrogant and he thought, 'Well, that law doesn't apply to me because I’m the king's son. I can go wherever I want to go.' And one day he just went marching off into the king's harem, to the horror of all the attendants and everybody there and it hit the headlines and everyone was wondering, 'What will the king do?' because the king had a law that said if any man dares to go into the harem, his eyes will be put out. Wow. Now the king's got to make a decision. He is a just king and he's a loving father. He doesn't want to blind his son, but he doesn't want to send the wrong message to his people. What do you do?

As the story goes, the king took out one of his son's eyes and he took out one of his own - so they could still see. But, you know, Jesus has gone the second mile. He didn't say, 'Look, I’ll share in your punishment.' he said, ‘I will take the whole punishment.' Everything that you deserve for your life of sin - we deserve death - the penalty for sin is death. Jesus said, 'I will take your penalty. I am going to take your weakness, I’m going to give you My strength. I’m going to take your sin, I will give you my righteousness. I'll take the death that you deserve and I’ll give you the life that I deserve.' He said, 'I am going to make a total trade with you.’

The Bible is full of stories of God taking people from the prison and He brings them to the palace and He does it in one day. It's what He did for joseph - from the prison to the palace. Daniel went from being a prisoner to being prime minister. Esther went from being an orphan captive to being queen. The Bible is full of these stories. The exodus - they went from slavery to the Promised Land. It's all there to illustrate what God wants to do for you. We go from this world where we're slaves to sin. And Jesus said, 'I want you to live and reign with Me in heavenly places. Amen. But the question is: will you accept it? The Lord loves you so much He's giving you freedom. And I could talk about it for a thousand years. But, until you finally say, 'You know, I’m going to stop trying to do it on my own. I am going to surrender my life to God. I’m going to accept the sacrifice that Jesus made.” On the cross, when He was up there, it's as though you were the only one that sinned. He loved you that much. If you were the only one who had rebelled and done all the nasty things that you and I have done, He said, 'I will take the penalty and the shame and the guilt for all of that because I love you that much, so that you could be with Me.' He says, 'Lord, Father, the joy that they might be with Me in paradise.' Do you want to be with Him in paradise?

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